Acclaimed authors to lead creative writing workshops at 2019 Hewitt Summer School

JAN Carson and Bernie McGill - two novelists who were shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature, as well as acclaimed poets Kathryn Maris, Nessa O’Mahony and Siobhán Campbell - are among the top writers who will act as tutors for the ever-popular Creative Writing Workshops being held during this year’s John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh.

These popular writing workshop courses, three of which are sponsored by the Open University, will run again this year on three days - Monday, July 22, Tuesday, July 23 and Thursday, July 25 - from 2.45pm to 4.45pm each day and they will provide an unique opportunity for aspiring writers in the Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough and surrounding areas to work with highly-regarded, published writers who have much experience of facilitating creative writing courses.

Among the 2019 writing courses on offer are Flash Fiction facilitated by Jan Carson, Irish winner of the EU Prize for Literature, Poetry (led by Siobhán Campbell or Kathryn Maris), Novel Writing: First Chapters (Bernie McGill), The Short Story (Heather Richardson), and a course which has proved very popular at JHISS in recent years with those new to Creative Writing, ‘Getting Started’ with Nessa O’Mahony.

And in response to many requests, Ferdia Mac Anna, the Dublin-based novelist, playwright, film and television director and musician, who has published two memoirs, will facilitate a course on Memoir writing.

JHISS Creative Writing workshops are open to everyone interested in writing and, as there will be a limited number accepted for each course, early booking is advisable.

Anyone interested must sign up for a course of three workshops in any one of the areas on offer and remain within that course.

The Armagh workshops will take place at the Market Place Theatre, the AmmA Creative Learning Centre and other nearby venues and the JHISS organisers are pleased to be able to offer local people and others the opportunity to work with such a range of admired and respected writers.

There will be opportunities on Friday, July 26 for some of those taking part in the workshops to read their work to others in the Studio Theatre at 4pm and other workshop participants, as well as members of the public, will be welcome to attend this free event.

There are a limited number of places on each Creative Writing Workshop course at JHISS 2019. These will cost £60 per course and can be booked now at The Market Place Box Office on 028 3752 1821.

Applicants are asked to indicate their preferred choice of course when booking. Details are available online at  and in the Hewitt Summer School brochure available at the Market Place and in local libraries.

This year’s Summer School also offered a Poetry Masterclass with Billy Collins, twice US Poet Laureate, on Wednesday afternoon, July 23.

There was a huge demand for the limited number of places on this Masterclass from poets throughout Ireland and all places have now been allocated.

There will again be separate JHISS workshops at The Market Place on Saturday morning, July 27.

Cat Hogan, novelist, screenwriter and seasoned facilitator from Co Wexford, will lead a three-hour workshop on “The Power of the Pen”, which will focus on creativity and mental health.

And members of Accidental Theatre in Belfast will lead a workshop on “What to do with an Idea?” - an introduction to developing concepts and moving them into a creative process.

Each workshop runs from 9.45am to 12.45pm and costs £15, with booking at the Market Place Box Office. 028 3752 1821 /

Further information from Pat Morris, Director John Hewitt Society:

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